Friday, August 30, 2013

Dapka Kadhi

This traditional Gujarati dish consists of moong dal dumplings(dapkas) in a thick yogurt based sauce typically served with rotlas/theple, green chilies and garlic chutney. Dapkas are not fried but cooked in the boiling yogurt sauce. Make sure the dapka batter has the right consistency. Drop one dapka in the kadhi and wait. If it floats up then batter is perfect. If not then it might be too soft. Add a little besan to adjust the consistency. Alternately put small dapkas in a microwave safe plate and cook on high for 10-15 seconds and proceed.

Ingredients: (serves 4)
For dapkas
1/2 cup dhuli moong dal
1 tsp oil
1 green chili
1/2 inch fresh ginger 
1/4 tsp grated jaggery
salt to taste
pinch baking soda
  • Soak moong dal in water for 4 hours. Drain.
  • Put all ingredients in a food processor and grind to form a smooth batter.
For kadhi
1 cup plain yogurt
3 tbsp besan (bengal gram flour)
2 cups water
1 tsp oil or ghee
pinch asafoetida (hing)
1/3 tsp mustard seeds
1/3 tsp cumin seeds
7-8 kadi patta (curry leaves)
1-2 green chilis chopped fine
1 inch fresh ginger grated
1 tbsp grated jaggery
salt to taste
Fresh coriander leaves to serve
  • Combine yogurt, water and besan together to form a smooth lump free mixture. 
  • Heat oil/ghee in a large pan and add mustard and cumin seeds. Let them crackle for 10 seconds and add hing and chopped curry leaves.
  • Now add yogurt mixture along with all other ingredients. Mix well and bring to boil. Simmer for 7-10 minutes stirring occasionally. 
Just before serving
  • Bring kadhi to boil. Form small dumplings using the batter and drop them in the boiling kadhi.
  • Cook for 5 minutes till they start floating on top.
  • Serve garnished with chopped fresh coriander.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Janamashtami Special

Janamashtami Special
Jeera Aloo (जीरा आलू)
Kuttu ka Cheela (Buckwheat pancakes) 
Phool Makhane ki kheer (Puffed lotus seed pudding)
Panjiri ke laddoo

Fasting and feasting on Kanha's birthday
Jeera Aloo
Jeera Aloo (जीरा आलू)
Ingredients: (serves 4)
8 baking potatoes, peeled and sliced 
1 tsp cumin seeds
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp turmeric powder
2-3 tsp coriander powder
2 tsp red chili powder
salt and pepper to taste
  • Heat oil in a pan and add cumin seeds.
  • Let them splatter for 30 seconds, then add potatoes. Coat then evenly with oil and cumin.
  • Add coriander, turmeric, salt, cracked black pepper and red chili powder to taste. Mix well.
  • Cover the pan and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring 2-3 times to allow even cooking. Cook till tender crisp. Garnish with fresh coriander.


Ingredients: (serves 4)
4 cups peeled and cubed pumpkin
1/5 tsp each of cumin seeds, mustard seeds, fennel seeds, methi seeds, coriander seeds 
2 tsp vegetable oil
1 tsp turmeric powder
2 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp red chili powder
salt and pepper to taste
  • Heat oil in a pan and add all the seeds.
  • Let them splatter for 30 seconds, then add the cubed pumpkin. Coat then evenly with oil and seeds.
  • Add coriander, turmeric, salt, cracked black pepper and red chili powder to taste. Mix well.
  • Cover the pan and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring 2-3 times to allow even cooking. Cook till tender crisp. Garnish with fresh coriander.

Kuttu ka Cheela
Kuttu ka cheela (Buckwheat pancakes) 
Ingredients: (serves 4)
1 1/2 cups of kuttu flour (Buckwheat) 
Water to make a thin batter
salt and pepper to taste (optional)
Finely chopped fresh coriander and green chilies
Vegetable oil for shallow frying
  • Make a thin batter of pouring consistency using the buckwheat flour and water. Add salt and pepper(if using) and coriander and chilies. Mix well.
  • In a medium hot flat pan make small pancakes or cheelas with the batter. Serve hot and crisp.

Makhane ki kheer
Phool Makhane ki kheer (Puffed lotus seed pudding)
Ingredients: (serves 4)
2 cups whole milk
1 cup phool makhana
2 tbsp sabudana (sago pearls) 
sugar to taste
2-3 tbsp sliced almonds
1/3 tsp green cardamom powder
Pistachios for garnish

  • Clean phool makhane. Mix these with sago pearls, add 1/4 cup of water and keep aside to soak and soften.
  • Meanwhile bring the milk to a rolling boil. Add the soaked lotus seed mixture to the boiling milk and stir well. Keep an eye on the milk as it can boil over. Reduce heat to simmer and cook uncovered stirring frequently. Make sure the milk doesn't burn at the bottom of the pan. 
  • Cook for about 15-20 minutes till the mixture thickens slightly and lotus seeds and sago pearls are cooked through. 
  • Add sugar and bring to boil again. Remove from heat. Add almonds and cardamom powder. Chill. Serve decorated with crushed pistachios.

Panjiri ke laddoo
Panjiri ke laddoo
Ingredients: (makes 12)
2 cups dry unsweetened shredded coconut
1/4 cup each chopped walnuts, pumpkin seeds and almonds 
2-3 tbsp ginger powder (more or less as per taste)
3 tbsp coriander powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 - 3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup water
  • Dry roast coriander powder in a medium hot pan till aromatic and lightly brown. 
  • Boil water and sugar together till sugar dissolves.
  • Now mix all the ingredients together. Work quickly with the warm batter to form laddoos. They will feel a little soft right now but as they cool they will be the right texture.  

Friday, August 23, 2013

Gujarati Thali

Tonight's Menu
Vangi batata bhaji

I am starting a series on traditional thalis. First in the series is the Gujarati thali with its varied textures and flavors. A typical Gujarati thali will have Kadhi, Dal, two to three Shaak/sabji preparations, rice, rotlas, accompanied by chutney/pickle, buttermilk, papad and a sweet dish. Many of these dishes are distinctly sweet, salty and spicy at the same time. Food from the four main regions of Gujarat vary in flavor and each bring their own style of food to the table. Some similarities exist such as the use of staple Tuvar dal and chana dal, besan and Jaggery instead of sugar.

Dapka Kadhi (moong dal dumplings in yogurt sauce)
Tuvar daal (sweet and sour arhar dal)
Tindoora nu shaak (Ivy gourd stir fry)
Vangi batata bhaji (eggplant and potato stirfry) 
Vangi batata bhaji
Ingredients: (Serves 4)

8 baby eggplants, quartered
1/4 tsp each cumin and mustard seeds
pinch asafoetida (hing)
2 potatoes, peeled and cubed
3 tomatoes, chopped fine
2 tsp oil
salt to taste
1 tsp coriander powder
red chili powder to taste
1/3 tsp turmeric powder
2 cups water
1 tsp grated jaggery
Chopped fresh coriander to serve
  1. Heat oil in a pan. Add cumin and mustard seeds along with hing and let them crackle for 10 seconds. 
  2. Add tomatoes, salt, turmeric and coriander powder. Mix well and cook for 4-5 minutes to soften the tomatoes. 
  3. Add potatoes, eggplant and and all other ingredients including water. 
  4. Mix well and bring to a boil. 
  5. Simmer and cover for 7-10 minutes till potatoes cook through. 
  6. Garnish with fresh coriander.
Bharela marcha (stuffed pepper)
Methi Thepla (methi flatbread)
Keri no Chhundo (spicy, sweet and sour green mango relish)
Aam Shrikhand (mango flavored hung yogurt dessert)

Friday, August 16, 2013

Palak methi wali toor dal

Ingredients: (serves 4-5)
1 cup toor (arhar) dal washed and drained
1 bunch spinach washed and chopped fine
1 bunch methi washed and chopped fine
Handful fresh dill washed and chopped fine (optional)
1 inch ginger julienne
2 cloves garlic grated
1-2 green chilies chopped fine
2 large tomatoes pureed
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp coriander powder
Salt to taste
Cayenne pepper to taste
4 cups water
  • In a pressure cooker combine all ingredients and stir well.
  • Pressure cook till the first whistle.
  • Reduce heat to simmer and cook for 4-5 minutes. Do not overcook, there is nothing worse than an overcooked dal.
  • Remove from heat and let pressure release on its own (about 10 minutes).
  • Remove the lid and mix well. At this point you can adjust to the desired consistency by adding boiling water if too thick. 
  • In a small pan heat ghee for tadka till hot. (See below for the baghaar stuff). Add the hing followed by cumin seeds. Let them fry for 5 seconds before adding ajwain seeds. Cook for a further 5 seconds and remove from heat. Add red chili powder. Immediately put the contents over the cooked dal and stir. Be careful not to overcook the red chili here as it will burn and discolor. 
  • Serve with roti or rice. 
2 tsp ghee (vegans substitute with olive oil)
2 pinches hing (asafoetida)
1/3 tsp cumin seeds
1/3 tsp ajwain seeds
1/4 tsp red chili powder(I used Kashmiri chili powder)